Tributes as Mark Bee chairs his last county council cabinet meeting

Tributes have been paid to Mark Bee's leadership.

Tributes have been paid to Mark Bee's leadership. - Credit: Archant

Tributes came from across the political spectrum as Mark Bee chaired his last cabinet meeting as leader of Suffolk County Council.

Mr Bee resigned from the position last week, six weeks after the ruling Conservative group at Endeavour House elected Colin Noble as its new leader.

Mr Noble is expected to be confirmed as the new leader of the county council at its annual meeting on Thursday.

At the end of the cabinet meeting, which had agreed to go ahead with proposals to work with districts and boroughs in the county to seek devolution of more powers, Liberal Democrat group leader David Wood said Mr Bee had worked hard to include all councillors in decision-making.

He said: “As opposition groups we have been given the chance to express our views and we feel we have had a good opportunity to take part in the decision-making process.

“That has not always been the case – but while we have of course had our differences we have always felt we have been listened to.”

His views were echoed by UKIP group leader Bill Mountford who said his group had always felt it had been brought into the decision-making process by Mr Bee.

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Mr Bee himself thanked councillors and officials for their support during his four years as council leader.

He said: “I have always felt it was right to open up our decisions to those from all sides. We might not agree and we might not change our minds, but it is right that all sides of an argument are heard before a decision is made.”

On Monday Mr Bee was joined for a private lunch at Beccles by the leaders of other political groups – including official opposition leader, Labour’s Sandy Martin.

Mr Noble will unveil his first cabinet at Thursday’s meeting – and that is expected to show many changes from the group who met today.

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